Kevin Heyries, PhD, Co-Founder & Head, Business Development, AbCellera
AbCellera is a leader in antibody discovery and has established rapid and robust responses to viral outbreaks with its Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3). The company’s core technology is a high-throughput microfluidic platform that uses miniaturized assays to screen antibodies from millions of individual immune cells from any species, including directly from human donors. By combining its core technology with Celium™, the world’s first data mining and antibody visualization software, AbCellera’s platform can search and analyze natural immune systems faster and deeper than other technologies to deliver exponentially more antibodies against any disease.
On receiving a sample from one of the first US patients to recover from COVID-19, AbCellera screened around 6 million immune cells and in just 3 days, discovered more than 2,000 antibodies that bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is used by the virus to attach to and infect cells. From these, over 500 unique human antibodies were sequenced and identified in under 5 days. Using our proprietary bioinformatics visualization software, Celium, these were down-selected to a set of potential therapeutic candidates, which were cloned, produced and characterized, and sent to the Vaccine Research Centre (VRC) for validation testing. Celium was used to further down-select to the most promising antibody leads. These were delivered to AbCellera’s partner, Eli Lilly and Company, for drug development and clinical trial testing.
In just 23 days, AbCellera identified lead candidate antibodies that could be deployed as a treatment or to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.